Government raps Twitter, asks it to respect India’s sovereignty
The government wrote to Twitter CEO over location settings of the site showing Leh as a part of ChinaUpdated: Oct 22, 2020, 14:55 IST
The government has written a sharply-worded letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over location settings of the social media site that showed Leh as a part of China, saying it raises questions about its credibility and neutrality, officials aware of the matter said on Thursday.
“The [Union electronics and information technology ministry] secretary [Ajay Sawhney] has conveyed the government’s disappointment to Dorsey [in the letter],” said an official on the condition of anonymity. “It [location settings] was brought to our notice on October 18 when a senior journalist was doing a Twitter live from Leh... [he] noticed that the location showed that it [Leh] was in China.”
The officials said Twitter must respect India’s integrity and sovereignty. “This is unacceptable and Twitter must explain it. They should also ensure that it never happens again. India is one of the countries with the maximum number of Twitter users,” the official cited above said.
A second official said, “If you are working in India, you must respect the country’s sovereignty.”
A Twitter spokesperson said the company remains committed to working with the government and that it respects the sensitivities involved. Twitter has acknowledged the letter, the spokesperson added.
Journalist Nitin Gokhale was doing a Twitter live from Leh’s Hall of Fame, a war memorial for the fallen soldiers in Ladakh, when Twitter’s geo-tagging showed his location as part of China.
“Twitter folks, I just did a live from the Hall of Fame. Giving Hall of Fame as the location and guess what it is saying Jammu & Kashmir, Peoples Republic of China! Are you guys nuts,” Gokhale tweeted. “Tweeple pl [please] put Hall of Fame Leh as your location for live broadcast and see what’s happening. It shows location as Jammu and Kashmir, Peoples Republic of China. I tested it again. Outrageous. Pl [please] flood Twitter with complaints. GoI [the government of India should take immediate action.”
The issue has come up amid months-long border tensions between India and China in Ladakh.